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Merrily We Go to Hell: Celebrating Women in Cinema

Celebrating trailblazing female filmmakers from the 1930s to today.
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2019
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Merrily We Go to Hell: Celebrating Women in Cinema

Celebrating trailblazing female filmmakers from the 1930s to today.
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2019
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Sydney Film Festival might be over, but the Art Gallery of New South Wales isn't putting away its projector. In fact, it's cranking it up every Wednesday, Sunday and on select Saturdays, all to celebrate women in cinema. Called Merrily We Go to Hell, the venue's latest program focused on formidable female filmmakers and their trailblazing work — dating from the 1930s onwards.

Running from Wednesday, June 26 through until Sunday, September 1, the cinema series kicks off with the movie that gives the whole program its name: Dorothy Arzner's 1932 box office hit. In the pioneering director's hands, a rom-com becomes an exploration of scandal and adultery (and a then-unknown Cary Grant also pops up). Remarkably, Arzner was the only female director working in 1930s Hollywood.

Other highlights include Ida Lupino's 1950s noir The Hitch-Hiker, glorious 1960s Czech New Wave classic Daisies, Elaine May's delightfully funny A New Leaf, Claudia Weill's female friendship-focused Girlfriends and Anna Biller's vivid, lurid The Love Witch. Or, you can catch Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher and Morven Callar, the Tilda Swinton-starring Orlando from Sally Potter, Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman and Indonesian feminist neo-western Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts.

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